More than 350 people are dead after fire consumed a crowded prison in Honduras late Tuesday night. The official word is that the blaze started when an inmate purposely set fire to his own mattress. Some 100 inmates died in their cells, as firefighters were unable to locate keys to free them.
There is really no aspect of the story that isn't fully horrible, but one of the most chilling details is that the arsonist called the governor of his state (Comayagua, about 90 miles north of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa) several minutes before the first reports of fire to tell her of his intentions.
Exact quote: "I will set this place on fire and we are all going to die!"
The governor was herself a former prison employee, and was reportedly known by many inmates.
The Huffington Post has a detailed article and two photo slideshows (one of the aftermath of last night's fire; one counting down the nine worst prison fires in recent memory) if the minutiae of tragedy are your thing.
[Image via AP]